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By 1982, Miscavige was Hubbard’s top aide, and in 1987, the year after Hubbard’s death, he became the leader of the whole organization.Scientology has claimed to have eight million adherents around the world.Cruise appeared both in person and on a bizarre videotape—wearing a black turtleneck and extolling Scientology—that subsequently went up on the Internet.Marty Rathbun says Miscavige clearly wanted to make sure that Cruise was securely locked in and unable to drift away, as he had during his marriage to Kidman.(Rinder and Rathbun are part of a group of former high-ranking dissidents no longer connected to the organization.
Photographs © Blue Jeans Images/Alamy (Silhouette), By Dan Callister/Getty Images (Kidman), Luke Macgregor/Reuters/Corbis (Miscavige), Brian To/Filmmagic/Getty Images (Boniadi), Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images (Cruz)According to Nicole Kidman’s last auditor, former Scientologist Bruce Hines, in the early 1990s she got all the way up to O. Their excess emotional baggage can haunt the human hosts, however, so it needs to be cleared out.
Many question that figure, some putting it as low as 40,000.
In October 1993, during the first year of the Clinton administration, Scientology received its disputed status as a tax-exempt church.
Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, was put in charge of the top-secret project, they tell me, and the ruse was to call in actresses from the organization’s rolls, tell them they were being given the honor of auditioning for a new training film, and then ask them some curious questions, such as: What do you think of Tom Cruise?
“It’s not like you only have to please your husband—you have to toe the line for all Scientology,” explains Marc Headley, a Scientologist from age seven, who tells me he watched a number of the dozens of three-to-four-minute audition videotapes when he was executive producer of Golden Era Productions, Scientology’s in-house studio.